The Boston Bruins defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3 - 2 in a thriller on Tuesday night at the TD Garden, David Krejci netted the game-winner with just under eight minutes to go in the third period and Jaroslav Halak shut the door to get his second win in three games. The Golden Knights have now lost six of their last seven games making fans wonder if firing Gerard Gallant was not a smart move in the long run.
The game began with an immediate scoring chance for the Bruins as Marc Andre Fleury made back to back stops, seconds apart, one on David Pastrnak, and the other on Patrice Bergeron. The Golden Knights wasted no time afterwards as Nate Schmidt found Mark Stone who was able to squeeze it by Halak for the 1 - 0 lead just 1:24 in. Are you wondering how this game is going to end so early on? Nicolas Hague was called for interference as the Bruins would get their first of many power play chances throughout this game. After the Golden Knights made the penalty kill, it became a smashfest, Deryk Engelland on Charlie Coyle, Ryan Reaves on Matt Grzelcyk and Cody Eakin on Charlie McAvoy all within a span of 0:29 seconds. Stone was called for tripping but Fleury came up big as he made saves on Matt Grzelcyk and Bradon Carlo keeping the Golden Knights lead. Karson Kuhlman found Krejci who passed it to Jeremy Lauzon who ripped one by Fleury glove side to tie the game at one. This was Lauzon’s second career NHL goal, strange enough, his first one was also against the Golden Knights back on November 11, 2018. Nothing but back and forth hockey between the two teams until Zdeno Chara was called for tripping however the Golden Knights would do next to nothing ending the first period with a tie.
The second began with the Golden Knights with another penalty as William Carrier was called for interference but the Bruins couldn’t put points on the scoreboard. A few minutes later, another penalty on the Golden Knights for too many men on the ice served by Jonathan Marchessault but yet the Bruins still could not take the lead as Fleury would only have to make one save on McAvoy. There was lots of hard hitting and blocked shots on both sides until Carlo was called for high sticking on Reilly Smith, the Golden Knights would cash in with a bomb from Hague at the blue line assisted by Schmidt and Marchessault. Chandler Stephenson committed a nasty boarding penalty to McAvoy as his head smashed into the boards but he would fight through his shift then skated to the bench under his own power. To many Bruins fans were in disbelief, the third best power play team in the NHL again did not score on an opportunity as Jake DeBrusk whiffed on the wide open net. A very disappointing end to the second period as the Bruins should have come out with at least a tie.
Now onto the third, it began with the same old fast place tempo like in the first two periods, Halak came out of his crease to pass it to Coyle who found DeBrusk all by his lonesome who then ripped one glove side of Fleury to tie the game up at 2. Both teams continued to deliver blows as Paul Stastny made a hit on McAvoy to only have Chara respond with a hit on Max Pacioretty. Halak came up strong again with three straight saves on Hague, Carrier and Engelland but Fleury would respond as well with two saves on Kuhlman and another one on Carlo. After the save on Carlo, Krejci was in the right place at the right time to score on the rebound giving the Bruins a 3 - 2 lead. Brayden Mcnabb would do his thing and deliver hits to Carlo and Pastrnak but that would not slow down the Bruins as they continued to pepper the net. Halak made a save on Pacioretty in the waning seconds to seal the victory for the Bruins.
A win would have been key for the Golden Knights as they are in a four way tie for second in the Pacific Division to put them in first place. They have to close out games, playing one or two solid periods is not good enough for a playoff spot nearing the end of the regular season. It’s looking like the Golden Knights will miss the playoffs for the first time in their short franchise history. As for the Bruins, they showed heart and made it a team effort to come from behind to make it 29 wins on the season. Let’s hope as one of the best power play teams, a dry spell of zero for five like last night's performance doesn't flip the stat to being one of the worst power play teams entering the playoffs. Although the struggling power plays, Bruins fans need to tip their cap to Jaroslav Halak as he has started all three games since Tuukka Rask’s concussion with a record of 2 - 0 - 1. Now who’s ready for the All-Star game?